Podcast, Ep. 182: designer Lindsay Atapattu

Designer Lindsay Atapattu joins the podcast to talk about classic design, Boston as her muse, and kid-proofing spaces

Photo: Michael J. Lee

Today’s guest is Boston-based interior designer, Lindsay Atapattu, of LEB Interiors. Her spaces incorporate traditional elements in a clean, edited way. We talk about her love of traditional and where it meets modern, which elements are making a comeback, which elements are trending, designing with kids in mind, using color and chintz, and more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials & Triumphs! Updates on Taryn’s house and waiting for the baby to arrive, a new bed and sofa from Ballard, empty nesting, innovative ways to hide cords and devices using an IR repeater, and missing curtains.
  • How Boston and Lindsay’s family background has affected her style.
  • How Lindsay decorates areas that are not considered “beautiful”.
  • Lindsay recommends decorating in layers and buying quality items that will last, but also looking for budget items.
  • Where should families with kids splurge, and save, their dollars?
  • Which traditional style elements are coming back?
  • Decorating for kids’ rooms.
  • What elements are trending?

Decorating Dilemma 

Hello there,

When you have a table behind a sofa with the cute matching lamps.. where do the cords go when you don’t have an outlet right there in the ground?

The house we are moving into has a large peninsula, with four small straight pendant lights.  I would like to update the pendants, at the very least to a clear (not frosted) glass… should I try to decrease the number of pendants and use like, 2 larger pendants?  See attached photo.

This is the furniture of the current owner, I am planning to buy all new furniture (for the first time!) for my living room, which is extremely exciting… but I’m so nervous.  Do Ballard’s slip covered furniture hold their shape or would you recommend upholstered since there’s performance fabric now anyway?  I have three messy kids, but I am hoping they’ll mostly use the tv room!

Thank you for your time, I always look forward to your podcast.


Jamie's trouble open concept room gets help from designer Lindsay Atapattu

Hi Jamie,

The first thing I want you to do is get in there and paint the walls.  I always say paint it white if it’s a big room; you can always change it. Get two of the same rugs; one for the dining space and one for the living space. They can be different sizes, or really different designs if you want, but keep it cohesive.

Next, let’s talk pendants; I would definitely pare from 4 pendants down to 2 or 3. Go for larger pendants and use painter’s tape to mark where you might want to place them. In terms of the lamps behind the sofa, that’s tough. You really have to have the outlets in the ground instead of coming out of the wall; especially with kids running around. Depending on the positioning you could have cords go under the rugs and plug into a wall if it’s close enough. The best thing to do would be to have an electrician come and if you have a basement, see if they can run a cord and drill up. If you’re having one come in to quote the pendants, you might as well get a quote for that too. Otherwise, I would say forego the lamps behind the sofa and add one on an end table closest to the outlet or even a floor lamp.

Now the sofas; I think if you have a basement for the kids to go to that’s a perfect place for slipcovers. The space in the photo I think is a little more formal so I wouldn’t do the slipcover unless you’re going for more of a farmhouse look. Just be sure, to be honest with yourself about how often you’ll take the slipcover off; because it’s a pain! Ballard and others make really great performance fabrics these days, so I would opt for using that on a more formal piece in this room… especially if you have another place for the kids to hang out.

Finally, we would all like to see you add some fabric or texture to add softness to your seating so it’s not all wooden (i.e. the stools and the dining room chairs). You have a good base here. Good luck, Jamie!

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.